The KC Stadium

Next Game

Hull City v Newcastle

Saturday, 31 January 2015, 12:45

Barclays Prem

St James' Park, Newcastle

Last Game

Newcastle 1 - 2 So'ton

Saturday, 17 January 2015, 17:30

Barclays Prem

Ben Arfa: Fan backing helped

Hatem Ben Arfa is grateful for the support he received from Newcastle United fans during his time stuck on the bench.

Last Updated: 27/12/13 at 09:53 Post Comment

Hatem Ben Arfa: Has had to be patient in his pursuit of a starting berth

Hatem Ben Arfa: Has had to be patient in his pursuit of a starting berth

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The Frenchman accepts that the strength in depth which now exists at St James' Park means he will not start every week.

He has no complaints at filling a squad role, with the collective cause of greater importance than individual ambitions.

Ben Arfa has had to be patient in his pursuit of recognition, though, with a 5-1 victory over Stoke City on Boxing Day seeing him drafted back into Alan Pardew's starting XI for the first time in almost two months.

The highly-rated forward grabbed his opportunity with both hands and believes he is a stronger player - mentally and physically - for having spent a spell on the sidelines.

Ben Arfa said in the Shields Gazette: "We're very happy. We won, which is the most important thing.

"And I was very happy to be on the pitch. I hadn't started for two months, and I gave all my energy.

"Every time I came on, I tried to do my best. The crowd supported me when I was on the bench, and that made me stronger.

"I want to say thank you to them. Even when I was on the bench, they supported me. They give you confidence and strength.

"I'm very happy, but the most important thing was that we won."

On the competition for places at Newcastle, he added: "We have a big squad. We have very good players on the bench and on the pitch. That's very important for us.

"Everybody contributes. The spirit is important. When somebody is on the bench, he still motivates us in the dressing room. Everybody is together."

Watch Newcastle v Arsenal and Chelsea v Liverpool live on Sky Sports 1HD from 12.30pm on Sunday, or for just £4.99 with a NOW TV day pass.

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

T

he thing is, footballers are role models, and children are influenced by them. I watched the Chelsea game with my 6 year old, and at school the next day she stamped on Emre Can.

megabrow (cufc)
Diego Costa: The Patron Saint Of S**thousery

Y

et again Barcelona try to convince the world that they only play the most virtuous of football. I've never seen a team so willing and able to dish out lumps but feel so self-righteous that no opposition player should ever have the audacity to tackle them.

charsmatcengma
Enrique hauls Neymar to safety

I

d love to see a United v Liverpool FA cup final. It would certainly fit the narrative. Obv I'd want the ending to be one of an O.G. and tears as he collects his runner-up medal.

GVMUFC
Gerrard Constantly Searching For That Final Hurrah

Footer 365

Premier League: Nigel Pearson insists his players must forget about their win against Manchester United

Nigel Pearson has been trying to make Leicester forget about their Manchester United win ever since they beat them 5-3.

Transfer news: Andre Schurrle nears Chelsea exit after agreeing personal terms with Wolfsburg

Chelsea forward Andre Schurrle is closing on a move back to Germany after agreeing to personal terms with Wolfsburg.

Premier League: Roberto Mancini could make a return to English football

Roberto Mancini has not ruled out a return to Manchester City in the future.

Mail Box

It's A Massive, Big, Brilliant Mailbox

And we left lots of Suarez/Costa mails unopened. What we do have is a video of some rotten Suarez tackles and views on the future of football, Spurs, Liverpool and...

But Biting Doesn't Hurt Like Stamping...

There are Liverpool fans arguing that Luis Suarez is nowhere near Diego Costa's sh*t-house league but we have plenty of love for the agitator too. Oh and Spurs...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company